MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers announced today that dozens of organizations, which collectively represent more than one million Wisconsinites, voiced their support for the extension of Safer at Home in briefs filed with the Wisconsin Supreme Court. On April 21, 2020, Legislative Republicans asked the Court to block Safer at Home without offering any alternative plan to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has killed more than 55,000 Americans, and more than 200,000 people worldwide.
“From nurses and doctors to pastors and community leaders, the message to state lawmakers and the Court is loud and clear: Safer at Home is saving lives,” said Gov. Evers. “This is an unprecedented outpouring of support, and I hope people in the State Capitol listen.”
Organizations representing hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites filed amicus briefs asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to uphold the Evers Administration’s Safer at Home Order. Before the Safer at Home order, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 was doubling every 3.4 days, a rate similar to Italy and Spain, which have been devasted by COVID-19. With Safer at Home in place, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has doubled every 12.4 days. This “bending of the curve” has prevented Wisconsin hospitals from becoming overrun, and the first three weeks of Safer at Home is estimated to have saved at least 300 lives and perhaps as many as 1,400 lives in the fight against COVID-19. Continued adherence to science and advice of health professionals has the potential to save thousands more in Wisconsin alone.
The following organizations and individuals filed briefs asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to uphold Safer at Home:
- Wisconsin Public Health Association, Wisconsin Nurses Association, Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care, My Choice Family Care – Care Wisconsin, and more than 50 doctors, nurses, pathologists, professors, and public health experts from around Wisconsin filed an amicus brief demonstrating the deadly nature of COVID-19 and the need for prompt, executive action to combat pandemics. Available here.
- 24 nonpartisan community groups, membership and advocacy organizations, labor organizations, Native American tribes, and community service organizations located throughout Wisconsin, which collectively represent hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites, filed a brief demonstrating the catastrophic impact lifting Safer at Home will have on Wisconsinites. Available here.
- The Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards and more than 17 local officials and governments filed an amicus brief arguing that Safer at Home’s statewide approach is needed to combat COVID-19 and protect communities throughout Wisconsin. Available here.
- The Wisconsin Council of Churches and dozens of pastors, priests, rabbis, and other religious leaders filed an amicus brief representing more than one million congregants, demonstrating the importance of Safer at Home to religious communities throughout Wisconsin. Available here.
- 17 leading legal scholars filed an amicus brief showing that DHS’s pandemic powers are common throughout the country and that the Legislature’s lawsuit threatens the separation of powers in Wisconsin. Available here.
- Legal Action Wisconsin, which represents low-income individuals and elderly persons throughout Wisconsin, filed an amicus brief arguing that the Wisconsin Legislature doesn’t have a basis to sue DHS. Available here.
- Labor organizations representing teachers, nurses, and transit workers filed an amicus. Available here.
Earlier this month, more than 200 businesses, city, county, and tribal government officials, medical professionals, and organizations representing everything from labor and educators to religious entities, to civil rights, to veterans affairs, signed a letter of support for Wisconsin’s Safer at Home efforts, which can be found here.
In addition, Wisconsin healthcare organizations representing healthcare providers and professionals throughout the state wrote in strong support of extending Safer at Home. The organizations included: Wisconsin Medical Society, Wisconsin Nurses Association, Wisconsin Psychiatric Association, Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources, Wisconsin Chapter of the American College of Physicians, Wisconsin Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians, Wisconsin Radiological Society, and Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. That letter is available here.